Crafting Complex Childhoods in Fantasy With Jordan Ifueko

Event Date:

October 6, 2021

Event Time (Pacific):

11:00 am


This workshop aims to equip attendees with the tools to write realistic, complex, and plot-relevant childhoods for the young characters of their fantasy worlds. In this brief session, we’ll cover:

-How to avoid “Pollyanna syndrome.” Is your child protagonist a bit too much of a precious tyke? Maybe they are a conveniently blank slate, waiting to be pardoned and wizened by [insert traumatic event here], followed by a time jump to when the *real* story begins. Or perhaps they’re achingly Not Like The Other Villagers, brimming with precocious sagacity, immune to the prejudices of their setting despite limited exposure to any other worldview. No fear! We’ll work together on how to write three-dimensional children that reflect the shortcomings of their birth culture, parental upbringing, and cutely underdeveloped frontal cortex.

–How to flesh out one-liner backstories like: “His mother died when he was young.” “The war ended when they were just a babe.” “She was adored as a young princess.” Sometimes these one-liners sum up the entirety of a protagonist’s childhood, even when the lead is arguably young enough that those formative years should be fresh in memory. Also, even when one’s protagonist is not a child, trauma causes humans to revert to the age at which the trauma happened, which makes knowing the child version of one’s protagonist very useful.

–How to integrate the mechanics of the fantasy world into your protagonist’s upbringing. Did your protagonist grow up with magic? Was it culturally acceptable or not? How might your protagonist have absorbed some of those cultural biases? Does the protagonist grow out of those biases, and if so, how?

Clarion West is introducing a Helping Hand Discount for our online classes and workshops. 

The Supporting Tuition rate is shown for each class or workshop, for folks who are able to pay it. Paying the Supporting Tuition rate enables us to continue to pay our staff and instructors equitably, as well as support access to classes for others who may be in a different financial situation. 

Limited Free Registration: We reserve a percentage of free seats in every class for writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Color (BIPOC) on a first-come-first-served basis, regardless of financial need. Please email us with the name of the class you would like to enroll in, even if the class appears full: We ask that you limit your request to 3-5 classes maximum, listed in order of your first choice. Read more about our equity and inclusion policies here.

Helping Hand Discount (Enter Code at Checkout): If you are under more limited economic circumstances and/or identify as from a marginalized background, we offer a 26% discount. Enter this code at checkout: CWDISCOUNTS4WRITERS. You are invited to use this discount code for all online classes and workshops if this will help you take the class. Read about why we offer this discount here.

No Seat Availables

Event F.A.Q

Unless otherwise noted, all times listed are in United States Pacific Time (PT).

PT is seven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC–7) for most of the year, from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November. During the remainder of the year, PT is shifted back one hour, to UTC–8.

Clarion West is using Zoom for our online classes and workshops. We always make Zoom’s auto-generated closed captions available for all of our online sessions. If the class is discussion-intensive or uses features that make the auto-generated captions impossible (for example, if a class uses breakout rooms), a live captioner can be requested. We ask that students request a live captioner 3–5 business days before the class date. For live captioners, we are currently partnering with VITAC Internet Captioning Services.

Chat and closed caption transcripts can be sent to you after the class. We ask our instructors to provide reading materials and slides in advance, whenever possible. If you have specific needs or requests for your instructor, please send in your request 3–5 business days before the class date.

If you have questions about the accessibility of the workshop or have other concerns, please contact

This class will be held online via Zoom. Students should plan to test their video and microphone in advance. Click here for more information about our Zoom policies. If you have difficulty logging into an online class email

Your link will be sent to the email address you used to register for class. Sometimes SPAM or junk mail filters out emails from us. 

Once you have your Zoom link, we recommend that you click it and follow the Zoom registration instructions at any time prior to your class. 

Be sure to add to your list of safe contacts. If you still can’t find the link, please reach out to us at (206) 322-9083 or at least one hour before class begins. Be aware that if you contact us after class has started, staff may be introducing the instructor and getting the class underway; they will respond to your request as soon as they are able. 

Yes. One day before the class begins, we will send a reminder  to the email you used to register.

Please be sure to add your class to your personal calendar when you register, with reminders if needed. Unfortunately, we are not able to refund class fees if you miss a class.

Unless designated for teens, all online classes and workshops are recommended for anyone aged 18 or older. If you have a question about the minimum age requirement, please email us at 

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff. Please email

Please enter the name and email address of the person you are purchasing the class for under the first step of the registration process, “Attendee info.”

If you want to buy a gift certificate for a friend, please send an email to and tell us your information and the name, email, and contact information for the person you wish to send a gift certificate to. 

Clarion West does not share contact information with any other organization.

We reserve a percentage of seats in every class for writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC) on a first-come-first-served basis, regardless of financial need. Learn more about our Equity & Inclusion policies. Please email us with the name of the class you would like to enroll in:

For folks who are under more limited economic circumstances, no matter your background, we offer a discount code for reduced pricing: CWDISCOUNTS4WRITERS. If this will help you take the class, you are invited to use this code for a 26% discount on all online classes and workshops. 

How to use the code: register for any class you are interested in. When you get to the check-out portion of the class, you will find a place to enter the discount code in the upper left area of the check-out section. Enter the code and it will be immediately applied to any classes you have registered for. Then follow the instructions to complete your order. Please enter your discount code before completing your payment. 

Read about why we offer this discount here

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.


Total Seats: 25 (0 Left:)

Event Schedule Details

  • October 6, 2021 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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